Tuesday Talk: Banned Books Meme


The last week in September is Banned Books week, so I’m doing a little meme, which you can find under the cut.

Looking at this list, I don’t feel like a very controversial reader…. and the italics I have to blame mainly on my being once upon a time a very over-ambitious and yet equally impatient reader as a child. I’m an extremely patient reader now—Turgenev and Trollope will do that to you—but I am as yet not quite over my post-college, Wee, read whatever I want! phase. And I have to admit, I’m more interested in ye olde classics (like Shakespeare, Austen, Dickens, whathaveyou) than I am in a lot of American classics, which this list seems to be mainly compiled of… but hey, to each his own. That’s what this week is all about, after all.

Look through this list of banned books. If you have read the whole book, bold it. If you have read part of the book, italicize it. I’m placing a * next to ones I read because they were required by a school or college class.

1. The Bible (I’m a bit embarrassed about this one… I really need to read through all of the OT someday).
2. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain*
3. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
4. The Koran
5. Arabian Nights
6. Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
7. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift*
8. Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer*
9. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne*
10. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
11. The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
12. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
13. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank*
14. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
15. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
16. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
17. Dracula by Bram Stoker
18. Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
19. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
20. Essays by Michel de Montaigne
21. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck*
22. History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
23. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy*
24. Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
25. Ulysses by James Joyce
26. Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
27. Animal Farm by George Orwell
28. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
29. Candide by Voltaire
30. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
31. Analects by Confucius
32. Dubliners by James Joyce
33. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
34. Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway*
35. Red and the Black by Stendhal
36. Das Capital by Karl Marx
37. Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire
38. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
39. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
40. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley*
41. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
42. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
43. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
44. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
45. Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
46. Lord of the Flies by William Golding*
47. Diary by Samuel Pepys*
48. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway*
49. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
50. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury*
51. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
52. Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
53. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
54. Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
55. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
56. Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
57. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
58. Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
59. Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
60. Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
61. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
62. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
63. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
64. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
65. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou*
66. Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
67. Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais
68. Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes*
69. The Talmud
70. Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
71. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson*
72. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
73. American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
74. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
75. A Separate Peace by John Knowles*
76. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
77. Red Pony by John Steinbeck
78. Popol Vuh
79. Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
80. Satyricon by Petronius
81. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl*
82. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
83. Black Boy by Richard Wright*
84. Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
85. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
86. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
87. Metaphysics by Aristotle
88. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
89. Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
90. Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
91. Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
92. Sanctuary by William Faulkner
93. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
94. Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
95. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
96. Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
97. General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
98. Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
99. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
100. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
101. Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
102. Émile Jean by Jacques Rousseau
103. Nana by Émile Zola
104. Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
105. Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
106. Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
107. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
108. Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
109. Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
110. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes*
111. Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
112. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
113. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare*
114. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
115. The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Keatly Snyder
116. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
117. Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller
118. The Stone Angel by Margaret Lawrence
119. A Summer Affair by Ivan Klima
120. A Season in Hell and Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud
121. Howl by Allen Ginsburg
122. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
123. Gabriel Garcia Marques: One Hundred Years of Solitude (this one I read in Spanish and English!)
124. Philip Roth: Portnoy’s Complaint
125. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
126. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
127. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
128. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
129. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Myracle, Lauren
130. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
131. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
132. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
133. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
134. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
135. Forever, by Judy Blume
136. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
137. King and King, by Linda de Haan
138. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
139. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
140. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
141. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
142. Beloved by Toni Morrison
143. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
144. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
145. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
146. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
147. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
148. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
149. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
150. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
151. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
152. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
153. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
154. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
155. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
156. Blubber, by Judy Blume

Can you think of others that should be included in this list?

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4 thoughts on “Tuesday Talk: Banned Books Meme

  1. Wow – it’s shameful how few of these I’ve read. And it’s also shocking to me that some of these were banned – Blubber by Judy Blume? Really? HARRY POTTER? Really?!

    I loved THE BLUEST EYE – that was one of my favorite reads.

    Thanks for sharing this list!

  2. I have read more than 12 of those, and the whole HP series. And have started at least 6 of them, but never finished. I can see some of them being banned, but this is a crazy long list of banned books. (some of them were required reading in High school, or I’m sure I’d never have picked them on my own, but reading them wasn’t torture other than the fact I had to do an assignment on it. 🙂 )

    • The short answer is parents. Parents find something questionable or offensive in a book and bring it to the school board, and end up in many cases getting a book pulled from the whole school or district, stopping other kids (whose parents might not find anything offensive or questionable in the same material) from getting the choice of whether or not they want to check that book out from the library. Sad all around.

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